Information provided on this page for classroom use only; not for reproduction 2003



Math Connections

 This page is definitely a work in progress.  I have many more things to add, but I had to at

least make a start at getting this page online.  You can't finish what you haven't begun! :)



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* Cindy Circle

I am Cindy Circle.

Watch me turn.
Round and round,

And you will learn.
Im not straight,

And I dont bend.
My outside edges

Never end.
~ Author Unknown


* Sammy Square

Sammy Square is my name.
My four sides are just the same.
Turn me around, I dont care.
Im always the same.

Im Sammy Square!

~ Author Unknown


* Tommy Triangle

Tommy Triangle is the name for me.
Count my sides---theres one, two, three.

~ Author Unknown


* Ricky Rectangle

Ricky Rectangle is my name.
My four sides are not the same.
Two are short and two are long.
Count my sides. Come along----one, two, three, four.

~ Author Unknown


* Danny Diamond

I am Danny Diamond.
I am like a kite.
But Im really just a square
Whose corners are pulled tight.

~ Author Unknown


* Opal Oval

Opal Oval is my name.
The circle and I are not the same.
The circle is round, as round as can be.
I am shaped like an egg, as you can see.

~ Author Unknown


* Shape Song
(tune: "The Farmer in the Dell")

A circle's like a ball,
A circle's like a ball,
Round and round
It never stops.
A circle's like a ball!

A square is like a box,
A square is like a box,
It has four sides,
They are the same.
A square is like a box!

A triangle has 3 sides,
A triangle has 3 sides,
Up the mountain,
Down, and back.
A triangle has 3 sides!

A rectangle has 4 sides,
A rectangle has 4 sides,
Two are long, and
Two are short.
A rectangle has 4 sides!

~ Author Unknown


* Shapes Songs: Peggy shared these songs that she'd written after being frustrated at not being able to find songs to teach about these shapes.  For star they just sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."  She says that once the kids know the songs really well, that she purposely sings a line incorrectly so the kids can catch the mistake and they love it!  Then she'll "forget" the line and have them sing it for her.  She uses this strategy with lots of songs, but not with sounds.  Thanks Peggy, for sharing your talent with everyone! :)



(tune: Farmer In the Dell)

An oval's like an egg,

An oval's like an egg.

It's like a circle,

Squished up flat.

An oval's like an egg.



(tune: Farmer In the Dell)

A diamond's like a kite.

A diamond's like a kite.

I took two corners,

Pulled them tight.

A diamond's like a kite.

 ~ Peggy

Fort Leavenworth, Kansas


* Heart Poem: This is Peggy's heart poem. :)


Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

A heart shows our love

To all of you.

~ Peggy

Fort Leavenworth, Kansas


* Shapes Bulletin Board: Make each shape below BIG for the bulletin board and each one a different color.


I am Mama Circle, round like a pie.

(draw a lady's face on the circle)

I am Baby Triangle, three sides have I.

(draw a baby with pacifier, asleep))

I am Papa Square, my sides are four.

(face with a collar at the bottom of the square)

I am Uncle Rectangle, shaped like a door.

(face with a moustache and tie with shirt buttons and a pocket)


* Shapes Book:  Provide each student with a book with the following text.  Each student will color, cut out, and glue the correct shape to each page.


This is a circle.  It has no corners.


This is a square.  It has 4 sides that are all the same.


This is a triangle.  It has 3 sides.


This is a rectangle.  It has 2 long sides and 2 short sides.


This is an oval.  It looks like a skinny circle.


This is a diamond.  It has 4 angles. OR It looks like a kite.


After repeated readings, you can then ask the following riddles.


What shape has no corners? (circle or oval)


What shape has 4 sides that are all the same?


What shape has 3 sides?


What shape has 2 long sides and 2 short sides?


What shape looks like a skinny circle?


What shape looks like a kite?


* Simple Shape Book:  Use Ellison die-cut shapes and text printed on the computer.  Have students glue the appropriate shape to each construction paper page.  Each page is 1/4 of a sheet of construction paper.


click on image to enlarge


* Marshmallow Shapes:  Use marshmallows and toothpicks to form shapes.  I had to model each shape several times before some of my students could do theirs.  And to make the short sides of the rectangle you'll need to break the toothpicks in half.  When we finished, we glued the marshmallow "points" to construction paper to hang in the hall.


click on image to enlarge


* Shape Sort: Divide a file folder into 4 columns.  Place a different colored construction paper shape at the top of each column (square, triangle, circle, rectangle).  Then have students sort pictures into each column according to what shape the object in the picture is closest to in shape.


circle: clock, orange, ball, plate, Ritz cracker, mirror, bowl

square: block, box, gift, TV, Wheat Thin, saltine cracker, computer monitor

triangle: slice of pizza, slice of cake, Dorito, snack cracker, slice of pie

rectangle: door, brick, mirror, table, bulletin board


* I Spy Shapes Game:  Play I Spy with shapes.  Give each student a turn to walk around the room with a pointer and point to things in the classroom that are similar in size to shapes.  When they point to the item, they identify what shape it resembles.


* Use shapes in your calendar pockets instead of calendar cut-outs.  Have students identify the shape each day along with the date.


* Hokey Pokey with Shapes:  We do the Shapes Hokey Pokey.  I cut out shapes (each in a different color) and laminate them.  (If you laminate the paper, then use the Ellison machine to cut them out, it will save you lots of cutting time.)  Then we hold a different shape in each hand.  Instead of putting our "right hand in" we sing put the "red square in" or whatever shape and color it is.


* Stencils:  I also have some very old but good stencil patterns for shapes.  When working on a particular shape, I provide that stencil and a large sheet of paper and have the students work at using the stencil to make many of the particular shape on the page.  Then they color them.  If so inclined, they can turn their shapes into pictures.  Using stencils is also a great fine motor activity.  It takes some skill to be able to follow around the inside of the stencil in a continuous line.


* Have students grab on to a rope and use it to form a specific shape.


* Snacks:  Use shape snacks to reinforce the concept.

Circle - cookies, gum balls, Ritz crackers, Little Debbie Fudge Rounds, donuts, M&Ms, SweetTarts, Fruit Loops and many other cereals, banana slices, wiener slices

Square - saltine crackers, Nekot sandwich crackers, cheese slices, Little Debbie Zebra Cakes, Honey Grahams cereal, Quaker Oat Squares cereal

Triangle - pizza slices, Doritos, snack crackers

Rectangle - Little Debbie Frosted Fudge Cakes, Pop Tarts, Pop Tart Snack Stixs, graham crackers

Cone - Bugles, ice cream cone

Sphere - gumballs, cereal (Cocoa Puffs I think are round balls, round candies that come in the "handle" of the pinwheels

Cube - cheese chunks, ham chunks, pineapple chunks, watermelon chunks

Cylinder - wieners or sausage with ends cut off


*Geometric Shapes:  I recently purchased some plastic geometric shapes to help my students in learning about them to meet the criteria for the state benchmark.  I had introduced them the previous day and we'd already been using a can of green beans as a model for a cylinder and a ball as a model of a sphere.  Then I added a wooden block to represent a rectangular prism and a different kind of wooden block for the cube.


After that, I began pulling out one of the plastic geometric shapes at a time and letting a student identify the shape by name.  If they could identify it, they got to hold the shape.  At the end, we were a couple of shapes short, so I decided to let them play the "Dirty Santa" game, but I didn't tell them.  I told the two students in the small group that if they could identify a shape that someone else had, then they could take their shape.  Each student who didn't have a shape had a chance to take someone else's if they could identify the shape.  (There is no winner or loser)  We played this game over and over and they never tired of it.  When I finally put the shapes up, they still wanted to continue playing.  And I was amazed at the end that they could identify by name so many of the shapes.  One of my lowest students identified the rectangular prism!!  I was so excited with the results of this activity and it wasn't even planned.  It was just one of those light bulb moments!


*I Have, Who Has? Game: To review our 2nd graders for the MCT I just created this game.  Print it on card stock, laminate and cut the pages in half horizontally.  There are enough cards for a class of 20.  Each student gets a card and turns their card to face the group (which stands in a circle) and when it's their turn, they read their card, say their shape and then read their question at the bottom.  (The cards should be shuffled so the students won't know who's turn will be next)  They will have to be able to identify their shape to know if it's their turn to read and then be able to read their question.  At the end, everyone with a polygon steps to the middle of the circle! :)


I Have, Who Has? Game printable


*Following Directions: Use the printable at this site to create a following directions page.  For instance, draw a face in the circle.  Put an X on the square.  Trace each side of the triangle with a different color crayon.  Color the trapezoid blue.


*Literacy Connections:

The Greedy Triangle - Marilyn Burns

The Shape of Things - Dayle Ann Dodds

I See Shapes - Marcia Fries



Shapes Are Everywhere! emergent reader


Shapes At School (printable)


Sorting printable (incorporates Spanish)


Preschool Education Music & Songs: Shapes


Preschool Education Arts & Crafts: Shapes


Shapes ! Lesson Plan


Fun With Shapes!


Geometric Shapes (Grades 1 - 2)


Shape Activities




First Shapes

Shapes Printable Memory Game




DLTK's Learning Our Shapes


Things That Are Round printable book


Book Ideas for The Shape of Things by Dayle Ann Dodds


DLTK's Shapes Mobile


Book Ideas for The Shape of Things by Dayle Ann Dodds


I See Shapes


Circle Theme


Triangle Theme


Square Theme


Diamond Theme


Rectangle Theme


Shapes Theme


Oval Theme


Star Theme


Heart Theme


Math Forum: Varnelle's Primary Math


Hokey Pokey with Shapes




Geometry (two dimensional objects)




Shapes Theme


Geometry Lessons






A to Z Kids Stuff Shapes




Shapes Poems for Preschoolers


Mrs. Jones - Sing Along: What Is This Shape?




Shapes Preschool Activities, Worksheets, & Flashcards





Seems like we've patterned about everything there is, but I still have students who have trouble with patterning.  These are some of the things that we've done:


* pattern using Ellison die-cuts .. you can do this on paper, on calculator or cash register tape, sentence strips, pocketcharts, floor, table, or headbands.  We've used the mini die-cuts and the regular die-cuts.  The mini ones are the ones that we prefer as they take up less room.


* Fruit Loops

* stickers

* stamps

* colored mini marshmallows

* plastic Easter eggs

* conversation hearts candy

* M&Ms

* small holiday pictures

* Smarties

* Skittles

* Bingo stampers

* Unifix cubes

* Links

* colored cubes

* calendar pieces

* hand movements

* commercial wooden beads with pattern cards

* bear counters

* all kinds of other manipulatives that we use for counters

* for AB patterns we made beaded and paper candycanes, the flag, Dr. Seuss hat


* Provide patterns for students to copy or patterns for them to extend. Glue Ellison die-cuts into patterns on strips of construction paper or sentence strips (cut down to the appropriate size) and laminate. Make sure to leave them room on the strip to extend their pattern or reproduce it (underneath).


* Use the larger size die-cuts in the pocketchart for students to pattern, extend a pattern, or reproduce a pattern.


* You can also provide the student with a card indicating what kind of pattern they need to make, then have them use the provided materials to form the pattern indicated on the card.


* Number patterns - writing numbers to 100 using a 100s chart grid, writing by 2s, 5s, 10s


* Pieces of number charts where students had to fill in the missing number - this came from Saxon Math.  It really forces the student to look at the surrounding numbers to figure out the pattern.


* I polled some teachers this summer to see if there was a consensus on the order to teach patterning ... there was not.  So this is the sequence that I came up with after looking at the results of the poll:













February AABBCC








Susan had this idea on how to keep up with what pattern to use for each month.


<<I am rather unorganized, so I was trying to think of a way to know what to do each month.
I had a thought!  I could write the correct pattern for each month on the back of my calendar cards. I have the word Nov.  I put up above the calendar and I could write the pattern on the back.


Great idea, Susan, thanks for sharing.  I emailed her back and told her that I couldn't remember the sequence either, so that's one of the great things about having a website.  Post it on your website and you'll always know where it's at and you won't lose it (hopefully)! :)


*Number Patterns: Write number patterns on sentence strips leaving out numbers of the pattern. Laminate. Have students complete the patterns by writing in the missing numbers with Vis-a-Via pens, fill in with number cards (also made from sentence strips), or using manipulatives such as plastic number tiles that you can purchase or milk jug tops that you can program by sticking on a round blank sticker (for yard sales) and labeling with a number. If you don't happen to have a supply of milk jug tops, then you can use blank wooden blocks or plastic disks if you have those. (The plastic disks can be purchased at Wal-Mart)


* Sites:

Basket Patterns printable


Patterning Activities


Patterns of Numbers


Patterning is Chapter 9

Patterns Here, There, and Everywhere


Math Forum: Varnelle's Primary Math




* Make large page size numbers on the computer and copy one per student.  Have student could out the correct number of objects to match the number and glue it on the number.  Ex. Number 2 might have 2 hearts glued on it.


* Manipulatives:  Math manipulatives can be used for many math activities, but I'm going to stick them here for lack of a better place.  We use them for counting, adding, subtracting, patterning, graphing, more/less, etc.  This is a picture of the math manipulatives that I keep out all the time.  Then we also have the thematic manipulatives that only come out when we're working on that theme.  I like to keep some things "new" so that they'll be novel when we want to use them.



I'm going to start at the left top of the picture and identify what's in each container.  Buttons, mini carrot erasers (but we're not allowed to call them erasers .. we have to call them counters :)), mini sunglasses erasers, mini fish erasers, mini flower erasers, frog erasers, keys, flower erasers, mini felt numbers, shoe erasers, sunflower erasers, apple erasers, foam numbers, round plastic chips, glass stones, plastic bears/dogs/cats, river rocks, pennies, mini die-cuts for gluing, laminated die-cuts for using in the pocketchart, farm animals, marker tops, plastic fish, colored cubes, plastic frogs.  We also have Unifix cubes on another shelf.  And by the way, some of this stuff does belong with themes, like the farm animals, carrots, shamrocks, etc.


* Counting backwards - Use the book 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.  Counting backwards from 10 is a MS Kindergarten Benchmark objective.  


* Counting backwards - Of course the kids also like the old standby of the rocket takeoff .. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF!!!  I think they just like to yell! :)


* Going to St. Ives
As I was going to St. Ives
I met a man with seven wives.
Every wife had seven sacks,
Every cat had seven kits.
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were going to St. Ives?
~Mother Goose


Ten Black Dots - Donald Crews
make pictures using 10 black dots


Ten Black Dots


*Right Number of Elephants
brainstorm other ways you could use one elephant, two elephants, etc.

Use elephant die-cuts for counting, sequencing, patterning, etc.  To use for counting, write a number on each elephant and have students count out the correct number of peanuts to match the elephant.


* The Three Little Pigs


* The Three Bears

Have manipulatives for students to count .. 3 bowls, 3 spoons, 3 bears, 3 chairs, 3 beds, etc.


* Show Me, Tell Me game: Display numbers on cards.  Students take turns indicating a number.  Teacher says "Show me." and student displays the correct number of fingers or manipulatives.  Then the teacher says "Tell me." and the student says the correct number name.


* Counting activity: Use half sheet of black construction paper for each number. Add a
yellow Ellison cut out of the moon.  Program the moon with a number.  Laminate.  Also, laminate several sheets of yellow construction paper (or one might be enough).  Cut enough mini die-cut  stars from the yellow paper as needed.  The students count out the stars to match the number on the moon and add them to the mat.


* Play Number Detective:  Give students "magic glasses" (glasses with clear or no lens) and a pointer and have them take turns snooping around the room looking for a specified number.  Once they find the number, the pointer and glasses goes to the next student for their turn.  It may help some students to carry a number card around with them to be used as a model.


* Number Chants

Make a circle and that is all
Make a circle and that is all
Make a circle and that is all
Writing the number zero.

Come right down and that is all
Come right down and that is all
Come right down and that is all
Writing the number one.

Half way around and slide to the right
Half way around and slide to the right
Half way around and slide to the right
Writing the number two.

Half way around and around again
Half way around and around again
Half way around and around again
Writing the number three.

Down, slide, cut in the half
Down, slide, cut in the half
Down, slide, cut in the half
Writing the number four.

Down and around, give it a hat
Down and around, give it a hat
Down and around, give it a hat
Writing the number five.

Come right down and make a curl
Come right down and make a curl
Come right down and make a curl
Writing the number six.

Slide to the right, come right down
Slide to the right, come right down
Slide to the right, come right down
Writing the number seven.

Make an "S" and go straight home
Make an "S" and go straight home
Make an "S" and go straight home
Writing the number eight.

Make a circle and come right down
Make a circle and come right down
Make a circle and come right down
Writing the number nine.

Make a one and make an "0"
Make a one and make an "0"
Make a one and make an "0"
Writing the number ten.


* More Number Chants - These were shared by Wendy.  Thanks for sharing Wendy! :)

Number one

Is like a stick,

A straight line down,
That's very quick!


For Number two,
Go right and around,
Then make a line
Across the ground.
Go right and around,
What will it be?
 Go around again,
And you'll have a three!

Down and across,
Make a corner square.
Add a straight line
And four is there!

Down and around

And then you stop.
Complete the five
With a line on top!

With a curve and a loop,
There are no tricks
In learning to make

A perfect six.

From left to right
Make a line that's straight,
Then slant back down,
Your seven is great!

Curve left then right

The sneaky snake waits
Till the tail slides up,
He's made an eight.

A circle first
And then a line.
It's so easy to make
The number nine.


* The M&M Counting Book - provide a bag of M&Ms for each student and follow the activities in the book.  For younger students, you might want to have M&M overhead manipulatives (teacher made) to use on the overhead for them to use as a model if needed.  You can make the manipulatives by using a graphics program and making a small circle with "M&M" written inside it.   Try to make your circle as close to the size of a regular M&M as possible, but large enough for your group to easily see.  Then copy and paste that graphic over the whole page and print onto a transparencies.  Color appropriate colors according to the M&M book and cut out.  Make sure you color with permanent markers or the ink will come off on your hands, unlike a real M&M!! :)


* Identifying Two Digit Numbers: I use an overhead one hundred chart weekly with my students to work on 2 digit number identification (1st gr benchmark).  I'm only working with 2 students on this, so I made up a game that they love.  I put the chart on the overhead and then they each pick a color for their marker.  I say a number between 10 and 99 and they come up and point to the number with a pointer on the whiteboard (where I have the chart projected). If they point to the correct number, I put a marker of their color on the number.  Who ever has the most markers on the board at the end wins. I have colored overhead discs that we use as markers.  (All this was purchased)  Sometimes if we're running short of time I'll tell them up front that they're only going to get 5 turns before the game will end.  They ask to play every day.  They're doing first grade Saxon Math, and struggling at this point, so we do Saxon Math M/W/F and "Fun Math" on T/Th.  Fun Math are hands-on-activities like this one I've created to reinforce the skills they're struggling with in Saxon.


* Counting by 2s, 5s, & 10s:  I use my number chart and "highlighter tape" to help my students see the patterns of counting by 2s, 5s, & 10s.  The highlighter tape is actually cling on bookcovers that I purchased by the box at Office Depot.  You just cut the film to the size you need, then it easily sticks and and can be easily removed without any sticky residue.  Eventually dust and grime will get stuck to the back, so you just throw it away and cut new pieces.  I've been using the same box for years!




* Number Patterns: I also use the same method above to help my students identify missing numbers or ordering numbers smallest to largest (1st grade Saxon Math).  For instance: Put the following numbers in order from smallest to largest [12, 9, 35, 26]  I would put a piece of highlighter tape on all 4 numbers.  Then they could SEE which numbers are closest (smallest) and farther away (largest) from 1.  This has helped somewhat with this very abstract concept.


*Place Value: I have my students practice place value using the pocketchart.  I make heading cards for "ones", "tens", and "hundreds."  Then I write numbers on 3x5 cards with ONE digit in a different color marker.  The students sort the number cards into the appropriate column according to the place value for the digit that's a different color.  Ex. 336  This number card would be placed in the "tens" column, because the red 3 is in the tens place.


*Beach Ball Place Value: Write numbers on an inflated beach ball in the same way as explained above (one digit in a different color).  Toss the ball to a student and have him/her give the place value for the number that's under their thumb.


*Response Boards: One of my students' favorites is to use the mini whiteboards and markers.  (You can make your own boards by buying showerboard and cutting it into 1 foot squares and covering the edges with electrical tape.)  We play Write/Hide/Show.  I tell them to write a specific number, shape, etc., then they "hide it" (don't show to anyone), then "show" when I say, "Show."  They all turn them around and let me see.  I also have a board and am doing the same thing.  So they look at mine and if theirs isn't right they have to correct it.  And I can tell at a glance who knows and who doesn't.  And it's ok if they "cheat" off of someone or something, because I can see that too and they aren't embarrassed if they don't know.


* Erase It: I play a game with my kids that's easy and easily adaptable to skills/levels and they love it! I call it Erase It! I write numbers ( or you can use letters, sight words, whatever the skill, or even a mixture of these) scattered around the board. The students take turns coming to the board, pointing to a number they know and identifying it. If they're correct they get to erase it. They love erasing!! If they're incorrect, I tell them and the group the correct answer so everyone will know that number. ( So for the person who's next, if they're paying attention, they've been given the answer! ;) ) They sit down and we move to the next person's turn. They only get to erase if they give the correct answer. They keep answering until all the numbers are erased.

The only thing you have to watch is making sure you write low enough so that they can reach it and putting the numbers far enough apart so that they don't accidentally erase more than one ... because they are sometimes HAPPY erasers! :)


* Flashcard Games: use flashcards and turn it into different kinds of games (BANG for instance)  I made up one  that the kids named SMOKE.  I flash the card and they see who can say what's on the card the fastest.  The person who says it first gets it put in their pile.  The winner "smoked" the others.  :)
* Boardgames: make a path boardgame and then have them identify the number on the card to move around the path
* Overhead: I have a hundreds chart for the overhead.  Have each student choose a color from a bag of translucent chips.  I say a number and the student points to the number on the board or whatever you have the chart illuminated on.  If they identify the correct number, I cover the number with a colored translucent chip that they've chosen on the overhead chart.  If they're incorrect, I tell them the number.  Playing with one student I'd have a certain color chip as well and I'd cover the number with my chip.  But playing as a group, you'd just tell the number and move on to another player.  The person with 10 chips on the board first wins (or whatever number you choose). 
* Number Memory:  Play a form of memory game but they must identify the number to make the match.
* Fishin' Rodeo:  Use a fishing pole and fish labeled with numbers.  Have a fishing rodeo.  The person can only keep the fish if they can identify the number, otherwise they have to throw it back.  The person with the most fish wins. (of course the pole will have a magnet on it and the fish have paperclips on their mouths for "hooks")

* Sequencing numbers: label things like milk tops or anything that can be manipulated (cards, etc) and have them sequence them and them have them count them back to you.  Then have them write the numbers on a page with a grid with a block for each number (10 across).  Show them the number patterns and really focus on how so much of math is a pattern.

* Printable: counting sets to 10

* Printable: writing numbers to 10

* Printable: writing numbers to 10 & 20

* Printable: Number Cards 0 - 30

* Printable: writing numbers to 100



* Sites:

Numbers and Counting


Counting and Numbers is Chapters 5 & 6


The Counting Story



Odd & Even

Odd & Even Song

(tune: BINGO)


There was a farmer who had a pig,

And Even was his name-o.

0, 2, 4, 6, 8; 0, 2, 4, 6, 8; 0, 2, 4, 6, 8;

And Even was his name-o.


There was a farmer who had a cow,

And Odd was her name-o.

1, 3, 5, 7, 9; 1, 3, 5, 7, 9; 1, 3, 5, 7, 9;

and Odd was her name-o.

~ Author Unknown


I made this song into an overhead transparency to use with my 2nd grade math class.  The printable for the transparency is below:


Odd & Even Song printable


*Odd/Even Grid: One of the activities that we do in Saxon Math is have the students color either the even or odd numbers in a number grid 1 - 20.  Numbers 1 - 10 on the top line, and numbers 11 - 20 on the bottom line.  One time they'll color in the even number boxes with a yellow crayon.  Then the next time they'll color in the odd number boxes. (Two separate grids)  This helps them to see the odd/even number patterns.



0, 2, 4, 6, 8
Being EVEN is just great!

1, 3, 5, 7, 9
Being Odd is just fine!

~Author Unknown


I made this chant into an overhead transparency to use with my 2nd grade math class.  The printable for the transparency is below:


Even & Odd Chant printable


* I made an overhead transparency of the "Mittens for Kittens" math mat (listed below) for the overhead.  I'm going to use that to review the concept of odd/even with the 2nd graders before I introduce the chant or song.   The mat is very colorful and will look great on the overhead.  Instead of using the tally marks page though, I'm going to have students take turns choosing a number between 0 and 10.  Then we'll use the mittens to decide if it's an odd or even number and I'll record their findings on the transparency in ODD or EVEN boxes.  This will lead directly into using those key numbers/digits to identify whether or not two digit numbers are odd/even.


An alternative activity would be to have the students identify whether or not they thought a particular number between 0-10 was odd/even and then use the mittens to demonstrate whether or not their answer was correct.


* Our students each have a personal one or two digit ID number to use in the classroom.  I'm going to give each student an index card with their number printed on it.  I'll have them sort themselves into two groups (odd/even) in lines facing each other and in the correct order sequentially.  Even Line: 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc.  To make it more fun, I'll tell them to do it without talking. :)


* Sort apples labeled with two digit numbers onto EVEN & ODD apple trees.  Draw two trees on the board and label apple shapes with magnetic tape attached to the back.  You could also project the two apple trees on the board using the overhead and a transparency.  Round red magnets could be used as apples as well.

Alternate activity to go along with Johnny Appleseed: have students sort apples into even/odd but use a big apple and a stew pot.  The stew pot could be labeled with ODD, because it was a little odd that Johnny wore the stew pot on his head.

* Literature Connections:

Even Steven and Odd Todd

Missing Mittens ~ Stuart J. Murphy


* Resources:

Memorable March (chant) - The Mailbox  K-1 April/May 2005

Mittens for Kittens - The Mailbox  K-1 Dec/Jan 2005-06





* Things to Graph:

Estimate which color will have the most in an individual size bag of M&Ms.  Then graph the contents by color.


Valentine Conversation Hearts

Fruit Loops



Mini - marshmallows

Walk/Ride/Bus to school

Weather - cloudy, rainy, sunny, foggy

Tossing coins (heads/tails)

Boys/Girls in class

Boys/Girls in attendance

Lucky Charms


* Daily Graphing Questions:  I created and compiled daily graphing questions for each of the units below to incorporate into my Morning Meeting.  (click on the unit to visit that page)

Back to School



* Use mini Ellison die-cuts  for graphing.  Hand each student a "pinch" and have them graph what they got.


Graphing is done as a visual representation of information gathered.  Glyphs are also visual representations of information gathered.  The word "glyphs" I believe is derived from the word "hieroglyphics".  Hieroglyphics were early ways of communication using pictures.  Glyphs are also a way of communicating information in a picture format.


Here are some books on glyphs that have been recommended by other teachers.  I've never used any of these books.  The glyphs that I've done with my students I've either gotten from the 'net or I've created them myself.  If you create your own glyphs, you can taylor them for your own class.


Super Graphs, Venns & Glyphs by Scholastic
Glyphs: Data Communication by Fearon Aids
Primary Glyphs
Great Gylphs Around the Year by Scholastic


An example of a glyph would be to use a picture that possibly coordinates with your theme or unit of study.  For instance, using a picture of a caterpillar, tell the students to complete their caterpillar according to how they would answer the questions.  To young children, stress that their picture will not look like their neighbors and everybody's picture will look different.


Example:  If you're a boy, color the head of your caterpillar red.

If you're a girl, color the head blue.


If you like to pet caterpillars, color your caterpillar green.

If you don't like to pet caterpillars, color your caterpillar orange.


If you like the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, draw 10 feet on your caterpillar.

If you don't like the book, draw 5 feet on your caterpillar.


continue ...


When you hang all these pictures up side by side and use the legend, you can tell how each student answered each question.  If you look at the pictures and see lots of caterpillars with red heads, you know that there are a lot of boys in the class (or girls who think they're boys :) ).  If you see lots of caterpillars that have blue heads and an orange body, you'll know that you have a lot of girls in the class who don't like to pet caterpillars, etc.  Voila!  A visual representation of information gathered.


* Printable Graphs: Jill @ Kinder Friends created these printable graphs to use

Fruit Loops

Lucky Charms




* Sites:

Graphs For All Occasions,1871,24742-146190-27-3689,00.html


Classroom Graphing Ideas


A List of Daily Math Graph & Yes/No Questions


Graphing Ideas




Great Graphs


Create a Graph






*Calendar Notebooks: we are required to have bell ringers/work so I decided this year to use Calendar Notebooks for that since I only have 45 min. to spend with each of my math groups (and they're never together as a whole ... SPED 1st - 3rd).  I threw these pages together at the beginning of the year based on what we did in the past years using Saxon.  (we're using Math in Focus (aka Singapore Math) this year)  I hope to update the pages as we go along.  The last line of the second pg gives a place for them to write something interesting they'd like to read aloud.  My 2nd/3rd graders were weaned from this page after a week or so and write the info on this page on notebook paper.  All of this is kept in 1" binders.  We go over all the info plus how many days in school, days of the week, months, etc. on the Promethean board and they check/correct.


Calendar pages -
August pg 2 Sept Oct Nov Dec
Jan Feb Mar Apr May  


* Days of the Week song

(tune: Reuben, Reuben)


Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, too
7 days are in 1 week
I'll say them all again for you. (or, I'll sing them all again for you.)

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, too
7 days are in 1 week
I've said them all and now I'm through. (or, I sang them all and now I'm through.)


* Today is Sunday by Dr. Jean


* Days of the Week Coloring Pages





* Our state benchmarks require that our Ks know through tenth! So my latest creative endeavor was to add it to our Morning Meeting time. I cover both Literacy and Math concepts during this time. For ordinals I put up 6 different Ellison cut-outs in a pocketchart along with ordinal cards. Each card is a 3x5 index card cut in half and programmed with an ordinal (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) The cut-outs change with the theme/concepts. Right now we have a cow, moon, cat, star, rectangle, square. (We've worked on and are working on Hey Diddle, Diddle; Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, and the shapes) I mixed the cards and put them in the pocketchart "stacked" so that only one card shows at a time. They have to identify which cut-out is in the specified ordinals spot. Then we count down (first, second, etc.) to the cut-out they named. Daily work on this seems to help.


* Line students up and have them or students in the "audience" identify what place they're in.  If you need to work on the ordinal words as well, have each student hang the appropriate labeled sign around their neck or hold an oversized flashcard.


* Thimble, thimble, who has the thimble? game:  I remember playing this game in elementary school.  However, you can update it and turn it towards reinforcing ordinals.  Have the appropriate number of students stand in front of the class.  (5 students if you're working on first - fifth)  Have each student hold their hands clasped together in front of them.  You have a thimble or other object clasped in your hand.  Go down the line of students and pretend to slide the thimble into their clasped hands.  Actually place the thimble into the clasped hands of one of the students.   Have all students to keep their hands clasped, so the class won't know where the thimble is actually at.  Then say, "Thimble, thimble, who has the thimble?" and have the students take turns guessing where the thimble is by identifying the ordinal position NOT BY THE STUDENT'S NAME.  Whoever guesses correctly gets to take the place of the student who had the thimble.


Of course, you can use whatever object that you'd like and change the name of the game accordingly.  You might even want to match the object to the theme that you're working on.


* I am .. Who is? game: This game involves 10 students standing and 9 students in the "audience."  You may have to play it with your students a couple of times before they get the hang of it.  I made it up for the 1st grade teacher that I do inclusion with. 

Line up 10 students in front of the class.  Practice ordinals with the class by touching each student on top of the head or shoulder.  Begin game by giving the first student the card that reads I am first.  (Other 9 cards would have been given to students sitting in the class randomly prior to beginning game.)  After first student reads their card, then the student with the card that says ___ is third. will get up, read the first line of the card putting the childs name that is third in the blank and give the card to the third person.  The third person will read the next line on the card and the game will continue until all cards have been played.

* The directions are printed on the second page of the game and there's a label for the game printed at the bottom of the first page.  Also, I forgot that the first graders couldn't read the ordinal words yet, and I'd already created that version of the game, so there's two versions ... one with ordinal words and one with ordinal numbers.

I Am ... Who Is? with ordinal numbers game printable

I Am ... Who Is? with ordinal words game printable






* When teaching students with special needs, you often have to modify how you teach even concrete skills.  Many  years ago, I had a student that couldn't keep her counters separated into sets when adding.  By not keeping them separate, she kept losing her place when counting out her counters.  To help her with this, I quickly drew two large circles on a sheet of paper and told her to put the counters for the top number in the top circle, and the counters for the bottom number in the bottom circle.  Little did I know, that that particular action would save me and my students lots and lots of times on down the road.  The next day, when I started working with the same student again, and once again grabbed another sheet of paper to draw more circles for her, I came up with the idea of drawing them off on a piece of construction paper and having it laminated so it could be used from day to day.  Well, if you're going to make one, you might as well make several in case other students might find the need for them.  So I made several of these and even added a plus sign between the circles.  Now, many years down the road, I'm still using these laminated work mats to aid my students in working their addition problems.  This works so well, that you can even turn them different ways for horizontal and vertical addition problems and it doesn't make a bit of difference.


Later on, I started getting fancy with it and began buying all kinds of little erasers and such to use as counters, and then I started making matching math mats.  So I have 2 apples trees with apple counters, 2 sunflowers with sunflower counters, 2 fish bowls with fish counters, 2 lawns with rabbit counters, two baskets with carrot counters, etc.  The list goes on and on.  I even started making work mats to match the themes we were doing; 2 hearts with heart counters, 2 pots of gold with shamrock counters, etc.  You never get enough! :)


* Simple Math Mats: We used them for learning how to add using Saxon Math. Since the kids were supposed to make the mats themselves, they were very simple ... a piece of construction paper with a line down the middle.  They'd put 11 pennies on one side, move 6 to the other side.  5+6=11 pennies.  They'd continue making facts that equal 11.  6+5=11, 7+4=11, etc.


* Use dominoes turned horizontally and have students record the number sentence according to the dots on the domino.  3 dots + 2 dots = 5 dots


* To reinforce adding on, provide one die with numbers and one die with dots.  Student rolls both, then says the number on the die with the numbers and then starts with the next number counting the dots on the other die. ( Student rolled number 5 and 3 dots)  Says - 5, 6, 7, 8   This reinforces the concept that 5 + 3 = 8


* Egg Carton Addition games: I use two in my Math Center for addition.  I put a round sticker in the bottom of each egg carton "cup". Each sticker is pre-programmed with a number. One carton has smaller numbers for addition facts, and the other has two digit numbers for adding with regrouping.  You put two buttons in each carton and close them.  Shake and then open.  The student writes down the number under each button and then adds them.

I'm getting ready to make a response sheet with about 10 grids on the page for the student to set up and work 10 problems. (There's a similar sheet in Saxon 2nd gr math) Then when the student's completed each grid they'll know they're through. Right now they just write their problems on
paper.  They have trouble deciding when they're "through".

* Sites:

Addition (Kindergarten)


Count Hoot's Number Games




Number Words


* I Can Count
I can count. Want to see?

Here's my fingers.

One, two ,three, four, five.
This hand is done.
Now I'll count the other one.

Six, seven, eight, and nine.

Just one more.  I 'm doing fine.
The last little finger is number ten.
Now I'll count them all again.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.
~Author unknown


* Assessment: Printable to assess if student recognizes number words.


Number Words Test





* Sites:

Count Coins and Dollars (printable)


Money Choices (printable)


Money, Money, Money


Lesson Plans - The US Mint


Coin Clipart




* Sites:

Telling Time Lessons


CanTeach: Telling Time/Clocks poems





We begin by introducing nonstandard units of measurement first.  Measuring how big around a watermelon is using a piece of string, measuring how long a pencil is using links or Unifix cubes.  Then we move into standard units of measurement. 


* One activity I did with standard units of measurement was to give each student a bag with 5 pieces of plastic straws.  I'd cut these pieces to the nearest inch.  Each student was to measure the pieces of straw in their bag and record their answers on a response sheet.  Then I used a key to check their answers.  The next day, they were given different bags and completed the activity again.


* Once students have had some practice measuring to the nearest inch, let them estimate how long a specified item is.  Ex.  How long is a pencil?  

37 inches        7 inches        1 inch


*Also shared by Renee from the SDE Math Assessment.  Use a coat hanger for students to create a balance.  Have them tie an object to each end.  Place the point of the "hook" on a finger to balance.  Discuss the results.   This activity can be used with older students as well if you have them write about their results and explain why they think they got the results that they did.  They could also experiment with sliding the yarn along the bottom of the hanger to different places and see if it changed the results, then write about their findings.


*To teach nonstandard measurement for weight, fill 6 canisters with different things and place a garage sale sticker on each cap with a letter.  Give the children a sheet that tells them which canisters to weight. For instance the sheet will have for #1: B and D. They know to put canister B into one side of the balance scale and canister D into the other.  Which is heavier?  Then they circle the correct letter.  Of course, this is after I've already taught one or more lessons on this and we've also practiced a lot as a group until I think they're ready to try it on their own.  My kids caught on quick and LOVED this activity. Once you've done it, then you can leave the balance and the canisters out for them to explore on their own. The only rule is .. DO NOT OPEN THE CANISTERS! :)


*The Ruler Game: Below is a link for this game online.  I can adapt this game and play it with my second grade class by using the overhead and dividing the class into two teams.  Using my overhead ruler, each team can point to the correct measurement on the ruler on the  screen.  The first team with 3 outs loses.


* Nonstandard measurement: Use the pattern below to measure things around the classroom.  Create a Record Sheet for students to record their answers.  [ table = ___ feet, etc]

Feet Pattern:


The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss is a great tie-in for this activity.  This display of sorts came with that in mind ...  Feet!  Feet!  Feet!  How many feet to my seat?



*Saxon Math has students draw a line each day on their math paper to write their name on.  The length is specified in inches or centimeters.


* Sites:

Measurement is Chapter 7


The Ruler Game






*Introduce 1/2 by having students spread half a graham cracker (half a sheet) with jelly and half with peanut butter.  Then they can draw and color it on a response sheet.  Use a whole graham cracker sheet for fourths and 3 of the 4 for thirds.


* Cut things in half: apple, toast, banana, chocolate bar, play dough shapes, paper shapes


* Divide shapes in half and color one half


* Use pizza slices to demonstrate to sixths or eighths


* Give each student two colors of Unifix cubes and have them create whatever fraction you say.  Or, give them a fraction card, have them create it with the cubes then color in and write the fraction on a response sheet with a line of squares OR have them draw it.  Similar to this, but not so many.



* You could also have them roll a cube that you created and labeled with the fractions.  They roll and create their own fraction or match it to the correct fraction card with a drawing similar to the graphic above.  You can create a cube by covering a small square box with paper and labeling it.


*Provide each student with a fraction or fraction image card.  Have them find their partner.




* Sites:

Fractions (Kindergarten)




* The benchmark for first grade states that students will explore symmetry through real world art, etc.  This kind of had me stumped.  I knew that the floor tiles in our building would offer great real world symmetrical experiences, but I couldn't really call that art. :)  Soooo .. the other day I ran across something on the 'net that gave me an idea.  We're going to make our own symmetrical art by creating butterflies.  We'll fold a piece of colored construction paper in half, then open it and add paint to one side to form half a butterfly.  Then we'll squish the paper together, open, and we'll have the basis for a symmetrical butterfly.  Once it's dry, we can add details.


* Symmetry Butterfly:  This is another lesson I did similar to the one above to teach symmetry.  It was a hit!  I started out by introducing symmetry through examples on the body, then through shapes, and letters.  Then the student began giving examples of things that were symmetrical.  Then I introduced the butterfly project.  We started with a sheet of black construction paper folded in half, the student chose 3 different colors of paint and dripped it onto one side of the construction paper.  Press the paper together, squish, smooth, and slowly peel apart.  Discuss the symmetry.  Once the paint was dry, I refolded the paper and placed a half butterfly template that I drawn on the fold and cut it out.  Then I used a long arm stapler to staple the butterfly to another sheet of construction paper, only stapling down the middle for a 3D effect.  This would also make a great class quilt, but since I was only working with one student, that wouldn't make a very big quilt! :)


click on image to enlarge


* I also cut out many examples of the die-cuts that we had, symmetrical and not symmetrical.  After they were laminated, I put them in a bag with two cards.  One card was labeled "Symmetrical" and the other is labeled "Not Symmetrical".  These went into the Math Center.  The students sort the cut-outs into the correct category.  This can be done on a table or in the pocketchart.


* Links:

Line Symmetry



Math Forum: Varnelle's Primary Math






* Subtracting from 5 - Use the book 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Free Printable Little Books - 5 Little Monkeys


* Sites:

Subtraction (Kindergarten)


Count Hoot's Number Games





*We use Saxon Math with our 1st graders and I've been trying to teach my students about pairs.  To do that I ended up bringing in pairs of novelty socks (Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's, etc.) for them to pair and count.  They could finally understand pairs, how many in a pair, how many pairs, and how many socks.  You could also take it a step farther and let them practice counting by 2s and if you had a line, they could hang the socks on the line to pair and count.  Then have them draw the pairs and write by 2s underneath each pair.


You can make a portable line by sinking a dowel or stick into a coffee can filled with plaster or concrete.  Make two and then string a line between them.  I like this idea because you can move the line to wherever you need it and then put it away when you don't.  My husband doesn't know it yet, but this is one of his summer projects! ;)



Math Meeting


I did 2nd grade inclusion last year and taught Math. Because I only had an hour block at the end of the day I didn't have time to include all the parts of the Math Meeting (calendar) from Saxon Math which we use. I tried to pack in as much as I could by picking what I thought would be most beneficial. Some of the things we did were ...

*pattern: (whiteboard)

numbers - could be forwards or backwards, skip counting, by 1s, single digits, hundreds, tens, anywhere in the spectrum ... some of these were difficult for them (especially the ones going backwards)

___, ___, ___, 233, 234, 235, ___, ___, ___

___, ___, ___, ___, ___, ___, ___, ___, ___, 500


shapes or objects - the patterns got complex like something you'd see on an IQ test (for instance squares quartered with one quarter shaded, then another square but a different part shaded)
aaBCCdaaBC__ __aa__Cda__B__ __


this one you were supposed to keep a real thermometer outside and somehow chart the temp. (a component that we didn't do)

*money: (I did this on the overhead

put up 3 nickels, 2 dimes, 5 pennies how much?
what coins to  make 57 cents? )

*time: (overhead)

what time is it? what time in 1 hr? in 2 hr? 1 hr ago?  half hour from now?  half hour ago?

*calendar: (overhead)

what month?

how many days?

how many Sundays?

if today is the 3rd, what will the date be one week from today? two weeks from today? 3 weeks? 3 weeks and 1 day?

To differentiate the lesson, call on students to answer specific questions.  For those students who need easier questions, have them answer questions such as "What is the month?"  For students who need more complex questions, have them answer questions such as "If today's date is the 3rd, what will the date be in 3 weeks?"  That way all students get the benefit of hearing the questions and the answers (presuming they're paying attention :) ) AND there's that element of surprise as they'll never know when they'll be called to answer.


If you go to the Morning Meeting page, you can see examples of what I did when I was in my resource classroom.  Every year practically I'm doing something different, so my teaching style is all over the place! :)


Overhead Manipulatives: I gladly purchase anything I can that will keep me from having to make them, but if money or availability is a problem, then I have made some myself.  I made shape manipulatives.  I used a graphics software program (Print Artist) and printed the hollow shapes onto paper.  Then I took them to school and using the copier, copied them onto transparencies.  Then I colored them with permanent markers and cut them out.

You could skip the step using the copier and print them straight onto transparencies already in color.  But you have to watch this, depending on what you're doing.  I don't like the transparencies from the printer because they don't hold up well to being cleaned.  So if you're going to use a Vis-a-Vis on them and then try to clean them, use the copier.  I've even used some from other teachers where the Vis-a-Vis wouldn't even come off!  Horrors!!! :)


Procedures & Review:

This last year I did team teaching with a 2nd grade teacher and I taught Math.  When I entered the classroom with my Math cart (overhead projector and materials) the kids started clearing their "area"/desks because they knew we wouldn't start math until our areas were ready for math.  They were to have 3 items on their desk .. a pencil, a crayon, and their Math notebook (a little notepad) and that's all.  I wouldn't issue them any assignments if they had anything else on their desk (unless it was their water bottle). 
Towards the end of the year when we were trying to get ready for the BIG TEST, I came up with this idea.  We started each class off with a review.  They would open their math notebooks and I would put a math problem of some kind on the board or I would read them a problem or whatever and they would write the answer in their notebook.  I'd say "Pencils down."  Then I would draw a stick from my can and call on that student.  (Each students' name was written on a craft stick)  They would give me their answer.  If it was right, I'd let them choose a treat from a huge treat bag that I had.  We would do this 3 times.  So every day we started the class by doing 3 test review problems and we had 3 winners.  And I had the opportunity to review or reteach the material if they were having a problem with it.  And the kids liked doing it because we had 3 WINNERS!!!!!! :)  And not only do you get a chance to review, but you get a chance to review in test format, test questions, skills from lesson presented the day before, skills you see they're having problems with on a test, etc.  I pulled most of my questions from test analysis that I'd done with their MCT practice tests.

*Note - notepads and treats were purchased at Sam's Club




2nd Grade Math Classroom Strategies Blackline Masters (printables)


Strategies for Instruction Math K-2 (printables)


Math Centres


Math Literature


Math and Literature


Math Solutions Online


AAA Math


Grade 2 Math Games


Mrs. McGowan's Marvelous Math Pages


Math Companies Critiqued,1871,24742-145616-27-2668,00.html


Skip Counting Song


Daily Math Activities for the Primary Classroom


Kindergarten Math Lessons


Kindergarten Math Centers Activities


Flowerpot Math


Manipulatives (Pattern Block & Base Ten printables)


Just Us Teachers - Resources for Math Teachers


Math Tubs


Math Page


Math, Math, and More Math!


PBS Teacher Source - Math


Math Forum: Arithmetic Lesson Plans


NCTM Illuminations


Math Solutions


AIMS Education Foundation


math cats


Flashcard Creator




SuperKids Math Worksheet Creator


Centre for Innovations in Mathematics Teaching


Number Factory - Whole Class Fun and Games




ETA Cuisenaire (site recommended by Renee to purchase math manipulatives)


Hand Made Manipulatives (printable for pattern blocks patterns)




Pattern Blocks:  Exploring Fractions With Shapes


PreK- 2 Manipulatives (interactive online)


Math Poems


Math Tub Fun





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